Felixstowe
© Nigel Baker

Policy and economic analyst at the British Ports Association (BPA) Phoebe Warneford-Thomson says a spike in fourth-quarter UK port volumes last year matches claims that shippers had begun stockpiling in anticipation of Brexit in March. She says the numbers are evidence of the “vital” role ports are set to play in facilitating Brexit. While her comments on Brexit are undoubtedly interesting, it is the official release of figures from the port of Felixstowe which bear closer attention: the notoriously tight-lipped port operator had to divulge a 1.2m tonnes – or, 15.6% – drop in tonnage during Q4, with full-year volumes plummeting 18.2% following a computer glitch.

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